The Ancient Wood
Legend says that the Ancient Wood, sometimes called the Forest of the Ancients, harbors a deep hatred for the changed and altered, because it’s an unspoiled area that has been spared the mutations that grip the rest of the world. Beneath the boughs of the mighty oaks and between the towering pines run trails used by deer and wolves, and in the canopy overhead skitter brown squirrels. Horned owls swoop in the night, gliding through the stillness without disturbing the solemn quiet of the forest. In the time of the Ancients, this woodland would have been considered utterly normal and insignificant. But in today’s world, its mundane character has caused great concern.
Efforts to learn how and why the forest is so resilient have turned up little. Those blessed (or cursed) with mutation, however mild, find themselves overcome with feelings of unease as they approach the Ancient Wood, as if the forest somehow judges them and finds them unworthy to enter. Some whisper that the wood devours mutant interlopers, swallowing them up the way porkers eat well, anything. The forest holds other secrets as well, including metal obelisks fitted with blinking red and blue lights found around its perimeter. Many people believe that these objects offer a clue (as yet undeciphered) about the wood’s strange nature.
From Famine in Far-Go